A Visit To The Rocca Del Leone (Castle Of The Lion) In Castiglione Del Lago
Lake Trasimeno , Umbria
Today was a beautiful sunny day and we decided to visit Castiglione del Lago, a picturesque town on the western shore of Lake Trasimeno. The old, walled part of the town and the huge fortress that dominates it, jut out into the Lake. In the past it was an island, this combination of castle, walls and water made the town very difficult to capture. I’ve wanted to look around the castle, The Rocca del Leone, for quite a while and today was perfect for a visit.
The entrance is through the Palazzo della Corgna, there are frescoes here by Tuscan painter Pomerancio, showing the military exploits of Ascanio della Corgna, a mercenary captain who was lord of Castiglione del Lago and who had also commissioned the building of the Palazzo. There are sometimes small exhibitions here too.
Access to the Rocca is via a long, covered corridor from the Palazzo. Once at the Rocca there are great views across Lake Trasimeno and the surrounding countryside. The walkways around the castle are narrow and the entrances were built for people shorter than today. There are four towers, the last of which is much higher than the rest and triangular in shape. Getting to the top involves climbing several flights of stairs but it’s worth it for the view!
The castle was designed by Franciscan monk and architect Fra Elia from nearby Cortona, it was completed in 1247.